The young English designer James Heeley while working and living in France was captivated by scents and decided to create his own line made in accordance with the art of traditional French perfumery.
“Fragrance takes you to another place,” says the one-time philosophy student. He doesn’t label his scents masculine or feminine they are there to be worn and enjoyed by whoever likes them. “When it comes to scent, there are no rules.”
Inspired by life, everyday occurrences, memories or dreams or simply the ingredients themselves, James has devised a contemporary collection which stands out from the crowd.
Wearing fragrance always evokes a reaction whether it reminds you of a place, a person, or an occasion or even a mixture of all. And those I smelt certainly fed my senses.
One of my favourites was Menthe Fraîche. Yes, it is reminiscent of mint growing in your garden but it is far more complex and sophisticated than that. Laced with Sicilian bergamot, green tea and white cedar, this is a lovely invigorating fragrance which is easy to wear.
His new scent Phoenicia may take you through a journey of this ancient land, however I was rather smitten with Hippy Rose. Not a typical soapy rose scent which so many of these types are, this is an elegant patchouli rose fragrance with hints of amber and musk, vetiver and incense with a smattering of refreshing bergamot.
It might have been inspired by India and the hippy movement, but to me it reminds of a walk in a beautiful English rose garden. Like I always say, fragrance is so personal.
James takes classic themes and gives them a modern interpretation resulting in distinctive scents. If you haven’t yet discovered the talents of this man, it is time you did.
By Daralyn Danns
Heeley Parfums Hippy Rose (£125, 100ml EDP Spray) are available from Harvey Nichols and Selfridges